A Field Guide to Opposing Fans

The annual release of the Seahawks upcoming schedule offers up schoolgirl giddiness, euphoric arousal, and confused moans and tears. "The Release", as its came to be known in my Bible Study, not only signals the reality that "yes, football will return", but allows the geek in all of us to review the docket.

Plotting out our beloved Birds’ final record, I’ve charted the Hawks 14-2 the past 16 off-seasons, almost hitting paydirt last year.

None of the above responses or actions are unique to myself; we’re all guilty of something identical or similar. Where we may differ is the anticipatory vile and venom that swells in my confrontational preparation of facing faithful of other teams. Nothing warms my cockles like verbally undressing the pathetically brave that dare to voice support for whomever our opponent is; be it at Qwest or the smoky, dank, den-like Pub n which you choose to view away games.

The novelty of that uniqueness was never more apparent than this year. Upon hearing that Heaven on Earth, aka Monday Night Football against the Raiders, would return to Seattle, I shorted a fuse for the ages.

Once the MNF match-up was confirmed, I immediately thrust myself out the door, pulling my hair and expressing slurp-filtered maniacal laughter. Eventually I ended up atop a tree, while a longhaired Johnny Depp coaxed and eased me down with “Arnie, I know a big boy who’s going to have a party” and “Match in gas tank go boom boom”. Safe to say, the only reason I’m able to write this today relates to the offering of Wrigley’s and an air-conditioner-shattered window.

It’s always puzzled me why I’m so different in this regard. I know a lot of it has to do with my “Mommy and daddy didn’t pay attention, so will you?” complex, but that doesn’t explain it all.

Could it be that there are Hawk fans amongst us that aren’t equipped to identify and berate opposing fans? Is the fan base too bandwagon in composition to truly despise our opponents’ followers?

For those that fail to realize the importance of berating the opposition based on their bandwagon nature, all I’ll say is “sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion”.

As to my fellow fans that never acquired the ability to categorize opposing NFL fans, I’m empathetic to your shortcomings. For you, I offer some ways to identify and/or verbally abuse the fans of all the Seahawks upcoming opponents.

Detroit Lions
(Seahawks circa midninetyus)

Placed on the endangered species list by the NFL in 1986, these meek l’il creatures usually avoid social interaction, confrontation, and natural light.

If you do happen upon one, it’s best to bark at them in an authoritative tone, as you would to a household pet, to quell any building of their already depleted ego. This is best accomplished with the following; “This isn’t musical history contest, you’re outmatched”, “Barry Sanders paid money not to play there”, or just utter “Joey Heisman”.

Arizona Cardinals
(Flavorus of the weakus)

A newly evolved creature, they’re classified into two genuses.

The first being devoted followers of Sean Salisbury, and his knee-jerk bandwagon nature. Their chicken-little outlook will ferret them out after week one; they’ll be in hiding by the time the Hawks face them.

The second, though rarer, are actual fans and should be considered worthy foes. I usually combat any presence with the question “are there even Cardinals in Arizona?”, or reminding them that “the only thing the franchise has going for it is the stench of Paris Hilton on Matt Leinart”.

New York Giants
(Still longing for tunaus)

Easy to spot by their resemblance to either James Gandolfini, or if older, Bill Parcells. Truly a rightfully and vicious creature, caution must factor into any approach.

If forced to engage, the following usually helps suppress their aggressiveness; “I heard Hollywood’s going to remake the film “Twins” starring the Mannings, obviously Eli will play Danny Devito’s role”, or the fatal “your coach wears 1994 sweater vests”.


Chicago Bears

(heart attackus)

A surprisingly scarce creature, they’re even more surprisingly mute in nature.

In that rare instance where you encounter an irritable Bears fan, (hacky joke alert) maybe guarding a cub, it’s best to squash their indiscretion with the following “what’s greater - the number of 1996 Bulls victories, or number of Bears starting QB’s since 2000”, or the eerily morbid and unfair “two words, Jim Belushi”.


Bye Week

(Oh I have a familyus?)

Like Bigfoot or Chupacabra, the bye-week’s physical existence has yet to be confirmed via modern science. And just like those creatures, that doesn’t take away from their overall effectiveness.

Symptoms of the bye-week include, but aren’t limited too, tearstained pillows, amnesia like discovery of loved ones, or confused expressions while wearing nothing but a jersey and a Manchurian Candidate stare in your eyes.

There’s mixed reports on how to combat this invisible foe. One method that works for me is the partaking in many “vices” within the confines of a solitary spiderhole.


St. Louis Rams

(thank you jesusus)

Once thought to become a dominant species in the west, they fell victim to their own arrogant and brash behavior, drastically decreasing in numbers over the years.

While sparse, they’re still regrettably aggressive and noticeable in any setting. In my experience it’s best to yell out a “THANK YOU JESUS”, followed with a “Marc Bulger was the real inspiration for the film ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’”.


Minnesota Vikings

(CBA loopholius)

An odd, pasty little critter, easily identifiable by their skim-milk complexion and funny talk. In recent months, they’ve been known to journey from their wooded lair, to interact with other Hawk fans.

It’s best to remind such fans of Fran Tarkenton, Gary Anderson, inquire “That must be your accomplice in the wood chipper?”, or offer them the confusing “okay Vikings fan, you have 15 minutes to decide on a comeback or dig”.


Kansas City Chiefs

(Krieg-to-skansius)

A strong being, in number and loyalty, one should never sleep on Chiefs fans. There’s nothing one can say to combat their knowledge, respect for the game, and sense of history. All one can do when faced with an unenviable interaction with a Chiefs fan is to remind them that the “Hawks will make their team cry like Vermeil on his daughter’s wedding day”, or “KC’s best QB since Dawson is Krieg…a Seahawk castoff. Maybe they should’ve traded for Dilfer?”


Oakland/LA/San Diego/San Jose/Irwindale Raiders

(White whaleus)

The “Big Game” of all NFL fans for many reasons; their propensity to be involved in nefarious activities, their refusal to ditch acid-washed jeans, their love of rusted-out ‘70’s muscle cars, the playing of Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” as some sort of sick anthem, lack of oral or any hygiene, or their instance on remaining illiterate. There are far too many negatives to list or keep your attention. Just know, anything negative can in some shape or form be traced back to Count Chocula, aka Al Davis.

To the layman fan, it’s easy to engage a mouthy Raider fan given all the aforementioned traits; but Raider fans wear all indiscretions as warped medals of honor. The best way to combat a Raider fan is by reminding them “I could tow your house” or “your attendance is so bad, even your road games are blacked out”.


San Francisco 49ers

(Napoleons unclericous)

Much like the previously mentioned St. Louis Ram fans, this animal has seen a sharp decrease in numbers over the years, albeit a less dramatic of a plunge.

49er fans will usually encounter you speaking of a “galaxy far far away and a time long long ago” when they were relevant. To combat such crazy talk, remind the fan that “Robbie Benson isn’t a star anymore and neither is your team” or inform them “your miserly owner, Mr. York, asked me if I could ‘sponsor’ your impending loss”.


Green Bay Packers

(Riches to ragsus)

A unique being given their volume and nomadic existence. They combat any unwelcome hospitality with numbers over clever retorts.

Much like the Kansas City Chiefs fans, they’re best not engaged on their loyalty, passion, or knowledge of the game or their team. Rather offer them “margarine to smuggle back into Wisconsin” or a barter such as “over/under Farve picks is a five, what are you in for?”


Denver Broncos

(Minituare napoleonus)

Given the landscape of their habitat, these fans have about as much “street cred” as the Kenny G look-a-like from Color Me Badd. They’re easily identified by their ski trip-sunburnt faces and the brandishing of a Denver Broncos sweatshirt showing nothing but their logo, Shannon Sharpe’s face.

Confrontation is inevitable with these fans, so it’s imperative you be the aggressor. I like to remind them “the foundation of Invesco field is actually shavings from Elways teeth” or “Kenny Loggins was never cool….get a new QB”.


San Diego Chargers

(Theres a team thereus?)

Thought to be extinct as little as a few years ago, these fans have made somewhat of a resurgence of late. Easily identified by their surfer appearance and look of anticipatory disappointment, they’re easily dealt with.

All one needs ask is the following “so, when’s the move to LA?” or “when is your Barry Sanders going to retire-should be next year, right?”


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Minimall mulletus)

Once considered to be one of the cutest and most harmless of all NFL fan bases, these subjects have begun an evolutionary turn towards aggression over the past few years. They’re easily identified by their mullets, lack of culture, or mayonnaise dripped fried-food lining the corners of their mouths.

When approached by one of these ever increasing bastions of southern values, remind them to focus on DisneyWorld. When they reply “that’s Orlando”, tell them “listen, I don’t have time to separate people with mullets geographically”.


Pittsburgh Steelers (Bonus Segment)

(Barney Gumble ala Simpsonsus)

Once a loveable collection of drunks and miscreants, they’ve taken a more aggressive tone as of late. While most fanbases do encounter such evolutionary swings, the Steelers fan’s recent turn spawned from unfortunate circumstances vs. any standard on-field accomplishments.

Forever stricken with guilt, the Steeler fan will usually broach the subject of SBXL first, trying to use reverse psychology by “steering into the skid”.

It’s best to combat this by reminding them “the lady doth protest too much, methinks” which will confuse and bewilder said fan given the quote’s origin and their illiterate stature. If that doesn’t work, just remind them that “the US lost the World Series of Baseball, the World Cup, and the Super Bowl…where’s your patriotism?”


Known very well to friend and foe as "pehawk" in our fan forums, Ryan Davis will be providing a fresh voice on the Seahawks, Seattle sports in general, and life in a nutshell. Feel free to send your thoughts, recriminations and mule sniffs to Ryan here.


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